Winter warmer

 St Pat’s volunteer Ailsa drops off a boot-load of sleeping bags to help keep the homeless warm during winter.

AS Fremantle shivered through its coldest night since 2019 on Tuesday, spare a thought for the homeless who are sleeping rough on the streets. 

To make the chilly months more bearable, St. Patrick’s Community Support Centre is launching a Winter Appeal to raise funds for the disadvantaged and most vulnerable in the community. 

“Each year we give out hundreds of sleeping bags, and specially designed backpacks for people on the streets, while specialist case workers support people into more long term housing solutions,” St Pat’s CEO Michael Piu says. 

“Winter is one of our busiest times of the year – The demand tends to increase over this period and this can be result of people being more susceptible to illness particularly those sleeping rough, couch surfing and/or living in cars. 

“We also see an increase more generally from people on low incomes that live in poorly heated housing who struggle to keep up with everyday living costs. 

“Needs range from extra assistance to help pay for electricity or gas bills, or just something as rudimentary as requiring a winter coat or extra blankets.” 

Donations to the Winter Appeal help support frontline services at St Pat’s Day Centre on Queen Victoria Street, as well as various health services. 

On Monday July 5 the Earbus Foundation will be giving free ear checks and treatment as part of a NAIDOC event at St Pat’s Day Centre from 9am-noon. 

St Pat’s also work with the Freo Street Doctor and Silver Chain to ensure clients get their flu vaccination, and is investigating ways to get the covid jab to the most vulnerable in society. 

St Pat’s will launch their Winter Appeal at its Day Centre on Wednesday (June 30) at 5.30pm. 

The event includes a performance by the Starlight Hotel Choir, a behind-the-scenes tour of the Day Centre, a talk by special guest Jethro Sercombe on the latest strategies to help the homeless, and of course, a cup of warm soup. 

Entry is $10 or two pairs of warm socks. To make a tax-deductible donation to the Winter Appeal go to drct-st-patricks. 

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